DAY THIRTY-THREE – Ben Wilkinson

Building A Brighter, More Secure Future

Conservative Party election manifesto slogan, 2015

You must understand what we are building
is not the housing we promised. Not a
hospital, or school. It is a brighter
notion, an idea of Britain, where more
food banks will flourish, but for those secure
there is no cause for alarm. The future

is a place where the rich hand the future
to the poor, in which the great buildings
of Canary Wharf, climbing secure
above Tower Hamlets, offer up a
glut of wealth to the unfortunate, more
than you can imagine. This is a brighter

future, we promise, it is much brighter
than a concept like equality. A future
cannot be built on that. We all want more,
and some people are better at building
wealth, or else inheriting it, so a
tax for those who are beyond secure

is unfair: they made their money secure
through society, and being brighter –
or otherwise having been born to a
fortune – will make sure that in the future
sometime, this trickles down. As a building
stands firm, you have our word that more

will come to those without. Making more
is paramount to our concerns. To secure
this, in the meantime we have cuts building
steadily, to public services that the brighter,
more secure have no need for. In the future
you may need them, but the future is a

notion, distant and unknowable, it is a
distraction. What we are promising is more.
What we promise is a secure future
and this will be true, for some. More secure
as the great sun of the City shines brighter,
casts its shadow. Look what we are building.

This is our future. What we have is a
mandate to fulfil, building a Britain more
secure. And for us, it will be brighter.



Ben Wilkinson’s For Real won both a Northern Writers’ Award and the Poetry Business Competition in 2014. He reviews for the Guardian, and is as an editor for the Poetry Archive. With support from Arts Council England, he is working on his debut full collection.

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